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Thread: Can't regulate oversupply as only on 1 breast Please help

  1. #1

    Default Can't regulate oversupply as only on 1 breast Please help

    5 days ago my then 4 week old started having frothy green poohs.
    Since then I have stuck to one breast for a few feeds at a time and have had some successbut still have at least a few green poohs a day.
    I am very concerned about continuing the block feeding as the right breast is way smaller than the left and he already won't feed off it for long. It has been suggested to me to pump the right but then surely the pump will get the hind milk rather than my baby?
    Also since the left breast is so big he needs to go a long time to get to the hind milk.
    I would be very very grateful for advice. The problem to me seems to be the oversupply on the left as my last baby also favored the left but I hadnt an oversupply that time and there were no green poohs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Can't regulate oversupply as only on 1 breast Please hel

    Welcome to the forum!

    First of all, don't panic. Green poops are not a big problem as long as the baby is growing normally. When baby is growing normally, he's getting enough to eat and he is getting all the nutritional elements he needs- and yes, this includes the so-called "hindmilk".

    "Hindmilk" and "foremilk" are terms that cause a lot of needless worry. First of all, you don't produce 2 distinct types of milk. You only produce milk- relatively watery and rich in lactose at the beginning of the feeding when the breast is most full, and gradually becoming more and more creamy as the breast empties out. Second, the fact that the milk from an empty breast is more creamy than the milk from a full breast does not mean that milk from a full breast is fat-free or inadequate for the baby. Milk from a full breast (a.k.a. foremilk) has all the components necessary to support healthy growth, provided a baby takes in enough of it. Babies whose moms have oversupply tend to grow very quickly, because what matters most when it comes to infant nutrition is quantity of milk intake, not quality.

    I think you problem sounds like a lopsidedness issue more than anything. Check out this link: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/lopsided/. Basically, what you want to do is to increase stimulation and milk removal from the underperforming right breast and reduce stimulation to the overproducing right breast. I would try starting every feeding on the smaller side, offering the larger side only as dessert or when it is really overfull and uncomfortable. Stay away from the pump; as long as the baby will nurse you don't need it and if you have oversupply you don't want to stimulate your body to make additional milk.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can't regulate oversupply as only on 1 breast Please hel

    I really appreciate your reply. Your method is what I was doing but then the green pooh arrived. Won't this give him the foremilk from the right breast (he never stays on long but starts fussing) and then the foremilk from the left as he will be full from the bit he got from the right and therefore never reach the hind milk?

    I see what you're saying about a baby growing but a baby would look as if he was growing just as well on formula and we know that's not as good. I don't mean to be argumentative but would love to pick your brains as very upset about this. It also causes him to grunt and gets a red bum so not pleasant for him.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Can't regulate oversupply as only on 1 breast Please hel

    here's another way to think of fore/hind milk. the fat clings to the ducts - it separates just like any non-homogenized milk -, so the milk that comes out early in the feeding is less fatty, then as your baby nurses the fat mixes in. the more frequently you feed, the less separating there is, and the more similar the early and late milk is. feeding frequently - "snacks" is the most healthy thing for your baby, and will best regulate your supply as well.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can't regulate oversupply as only on 1 breast Please hel

    I can understand your worry about foremilk/hindmilk- but again, all your milk is good, and it all contains all the nutrients needed for your baby to grow and thrive. Foremilk is not skim milk. It contains fat and fat-soluble elements, just like hind milk, and all the same immunological components. It just contains a relatively higher proportion of water and carbohydrate than hindmilk does. And again, there's no abrupt transition between "foremilk" and "hindmilk"- it's a gradual shift to increased fat concentration that occurs as the breast empties and the fat, which clings to the sides of the ducts, is drawn out.

    I think there's this mindset out there that "foremilk = bad, hindmilk = good" and that if a baby doesn't "reach" the hindmilk then he's going to suffer. But aside from green poops and gassiness and the occasional red and irritated tush, a diet which is relatively enriched in lactose doesn't do anything bad to baby. Because baby is still getting all the fat, all the protein he needs. Does that make sense?

    It sounds like your baby has developed a strong preference for the left breast, and is fussing in order to make sure you move him away from the underproducing righty as fast as possible. Your goal should be to make him stay on the right as long as possible. Babies feed most eagerly at the beginning of a feeding, and if you put your baby on the right when he's hungry, he will get the right as empty as possible, getting plenty of cream from it, and then he will top off with a second serving of "foremilk" from the left.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can't regulate oversupply as only on 1 breast Please hel

    Thanks for the snacks idea but I feed him on demand, to soothe him, put to sleep etc so he gets plenty of snacks. In fact I was wondering if that was also a problem as such small breaks might be just long enough to top up the breast a bit and he never gets to empty it properly.

    Yes I am a dreadful lightweight at switching him over when he fusses. I can't bear to have him upset and he is never hungry enough to be enthusiastic for the right as we never go long between feeds. I will make a better effort on that. Thanks for your advice.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can't regulate oversupply as only on 1 breast Please hel

    sounds like you're doing what you should all around. oversupply can be a long road to really have under control. i have a friend who, at 9 months, has to give formula when she goes out on occasion because she still can't pump at. all. without sending her oversupply back into overdrive.

    good luck! keep up posted!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can't regulate oversupply as only on 1 breast Please hel

    I was like this with Joe. My left was always the big producer, and he had green frothy poops for a while.

    You've heard this already, but if your baby is relatively happy and gaining weight, there really isn't a problem. It's normal to be somewhat lopsided (I'm on my second baby now and my left side STILL makes a LOT more). Being lopsided can be an aesthetic issue (one breast is bigger than the other), but it's not bad for your baby. Having oversupply can cause green frothy poops, but those aren't a problem unless your baby is unhappy or not gaining weight properly.

    Basically, even if you do NOTHING, it sounds like everything is fine, baby is getting adequately fed, and you can relax.

    I might just feed on demand right now, switching sides whenever your baby seems done with the other side, and not worry too much about stools. Like you, I am worried that if you block feed too much, you will just lose your supply on the right. If you're feeding at nighttime, you might try going back to the right side more often than the left, and let your baby comfort suck on that side, which will slowly increase your supply. However, if he's hungry and wants the left, don't worry, give him that side too. Over time, your supply WILL adjust to meet your baby's demand (four weeks is still really early, and a lot of women have oversupply at this phase).

    I would avoid pumping too much, even on the right side, because that can worsen oversupply. If you do pump, just pump once or twice a day, around the same time each day.

    And I agree, don't worry too much about the foremilk/hindmilk thing. Your baby's getting what he needs, and it does take some time for these things to iron themselves out. But if you are feeding on demand and not pumping or doing other things that artificially stimulate your supply, it will sort itself in time.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Can't regulate oversupply as only on 1 breast Please hel

    We get so many moms coming through here all freaked out that their babies aren't emptying the breast, and not getting hindmilk- but when you remember that there's no such thing as hindmilk and foremilk, and that the breast is never actually empty because milk is constantly being made, it gets a lot less scary that a baby doesn't get the breast all the way empty.

    You mentioned the fact that babies grow well on formula, and that is absolutely true. I just wanted to expand on some of the reasons why breastmilk, and breastfeeding, are important for infant health even when the baby is getting a lot of foremilk and having green poops. First, there's the immunological component. Breastmilk contains antibodies (proteins) and oligosaccharides (sugars) which help develop the immune system and help the gut grow a healthy flora. Second, when a baby breastfeeds, not only does the baby get fresh antibodies, but the baby also gets to determine her own intake. When a baby breastfeeds, she learns to stop nursing when she is full. This habit of self-regulation may be part of the reason why breastfed babies become, on average, leaner adults. By nursing your child, you're not only helping her immune development, but you're also allowing her to learn her own satiation cues. A lot of moms focus on the nutritional aspects of breastfeeding- but nursing a baby is a lot more than just food!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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